May 23, 2012
- By Ed Powell
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"And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal...that all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever." Joshua 4:20, 24
There are many portions of the Scriptures that capture our attention and relate to our conduct. They inspire, encourage, strengthen, correct, and challenge our lives and daily walk. Often times in our haste, we quickly pass over meaningful passages in the Scriptures and fail to grasp the message of practical value that can be of great benefit. To remember God's mercies and transmit them to our children is a solemn responsibility we must not neglect. The consistency and dedication of our lives as Christians make indelible impacts on our children. They may not hear a word we say, but they observe very closely how we live, often transmitted by our attitudes, responses, actions, and words.
Joshua was now in Canaan. Consider closely the circumstances that prevailed. His army had invaded enemy territory and was camped within two or three miles of the fortified and strongly garrisoned city of Jericho. There were seven tribes in Canaan greater and mightier than Israel. Should they immediately set up a defense against a possible attack? Should Joshua organize his army and prepare for a conquest? Should he send men to evaluate the enemy? He did not know what effect his invasion of their country might have upon them, nor did he know what plans of attack they might have made to drive Israel out of Canaan.
Being a great leader and the commanding general of Israel, what did Joshua do on this first day in Canaan? He set up a memorial of 12 stones gathered from the Jordan, representing each tribe. When the children asked "Why 12 stones," they were to tell them, "That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that he is mighty, that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever." This was a memorial to the faithfulness of God. Then he commanded every male to be circumcised [something that was neglected in the wilderness], at once disabling his whole army from standing in its own defense. Three days later, he led Israel in the observance of the Passover together with the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Regardless of threatening circumstances, Joshua wanted to teach Israel to OBEY. To be in God's favor superseded all other considerations. BEGIN WITH GOD! It's not the act of Joshua we need to recognize, but the attitudes and habits of his heart and mind. How important it is to have a heart that is bent on making God the foundation upon which all of our decisions are based and the resource from which we receive our sufficiency in all things. Many would have questioned Joshua's actions, but he would have replied, "It is in God I trust. The battle is the Lord's, and He will enable me to triumph over every enemy. It is for me to possess the land and appropriate all He has secured and provided. I am entrusted to obey. If God is for us, who can be against us?" This should be our plan and priority: BEGIN WITH GOD! Regardless of circumstances, trust in God to be the source of your strength, walk in obedience, appropriate what He has provided, and take the land He has already won! He is faithful that has promised and will abundantly meet our every need! Praise the Lord!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?row=144&date=2012-05-23
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